Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Evolution of Eukaryotic Cells

Suppose you run into a long lost cousin at a family event who turns out to be a proponent of Intelligent Design. According to your cousin, who is a Biology student in Alabama, eukaryotic cells are a prime example of irreducible complexity, as there are no intermediates between very simple prokaryotic cells and the much more complex eukaryotic cells. Based on your reading about Lynn Margulis and SET, respond to your cousin's assertion that eukaryotic cells are a good example of ID.

83 comments:

Period4_Nick said...

After reading the article about reading Lynn Margulis, I have to disagree with my so-called cousin. I agree that there isn’t a direct evolutionary link between prokaryotes and eukaryotes like those between other related organisms, but that doesn’t mean prokaryotes were not involved in the development of eukaryotes. My “cousin” might disagree with me on that because the way in which eukaryotes were involved may not be found in any other example of evolution. The theory that argues this is called the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (or SET). The Serial Endosymbiotic Theory states that eukaryotic bacteria came about by certain prokaryotic bacteria engulfing other prokaryotic bacteria that could metabolize well or photosynthesize, for example, in their cell membranes and forming a symbiotic relationship with them. These simpler prokaryotic bacteria that had good metabolisms or could photosynthesize, over generations, became the eukaryotic organelles like the mitochondria or chloroplasts (respectively). The Serial Endosybiotic Theory also challenges another one of ID’s counter-arguments, namely, the flagellum. Intelligent Design claims that the flagellum is such a complex organelle that there could not have been more simpler versions of it on a host cell that survived long enough to reproduce. While some scientists point to underdeveloped flagella on some bacteria to disprove this, the SET argues that the eukaryotic flagellum is another organelle that evolved from a prokaryotic symbiote. That, and the fact that eukaryotic and prokaryotic bacteria’s flagella have very different structures, led Margulis to try to have the eukaryotic flagellum labeled by a different name; the undulipodium.

Period 2_Kanishka said...

This cousin of mine must not see Margulis' SET theory in such a black and white perspective. Although he/she has a valid point, there are explanations of the SET theory that contradict his/her statement. For instance, eukaryotic cells evolved through a SERIES of symbiotic partnerships. These "series" can arguably be the intermediate steps which he claims the evolution lacks because this modifications occurred as a series of "discrete events". Later on these series evolved into three different kinds of organelles: chloroplasts, mitochondria and flagella. The first two prokaryotic organisms were simple photosynthesis bacteria and fermenting bacteria. These later became prokaryotes that were aerobic. The prokaryotes would detoxify oxygen through respiration. This development of repsiration set the stage for the evolution of eukaryotic cells as these new cells would also be able to detoxify oxygen. Today, if one is to examine both free living bacteria and eukaryotic cells, they will find many similarities between the two. These similarities prove that there were intermediate steps. The evidence Margulis presented through when establishing the SET theory contradicts my cousin's statement.

period1erik said...

Although irreducible complexity would seem like a strong argument towards intelligent design, Margulis' SET theory can contradict it. SET shows that eukaryotic cells, cells presumed to be the most basic life form in biology, actually "evolved" from the symbiosis of several prokaryotic cells. Margulis theorized that small, photosynthetic or energy producing prokaryotes, over time, as cells reproduced these undigested "cells within cells" and became more common, they came to be considered key energy producing organelles such as chloroplasts or mitochondria. This shows that eukaryotic cells could, in fact, be "reduced" to simpler elements, having evolved through time.
One living example of an intermediary stage of this form of evolution is the ciliate Strombidium Purpureum that houses a photosynthetic and respiratory bacteria symbiotically living inside of it. Living in an anaerobic environment, similar to earth's early atmospheric stages, the ciliate receives energy from this bacteria in the form of ATP, used in many cellular functions of Eukaryotic cells.
Lastly, SET theorizes that the flagella found in eukaryotic cells also arose from the symbiosis of two cells. Spirochetes, cells that use a corkscrew motion to for mobility, may have fuse with other cells, to develop the uniquely eukaryotic flagellum. Although this theory still needs to be researched and refined further, it would appear that my cousin needs to do some research about the substantiated Serial Endosymbiotic Theory.

period7adarsha is unoriginal said...

The irreducible complexity argument that my "cousin" uses to prove intelligent design is utterly disproven by the endosymbiosis article by Lynn Margulis. This argument of intelligent design revolves around the basis that a direct evolutionary link needs to be found between cells that didn't have mitochondria and cells that did have them. Serial Endosymbiotic theory answers this claim (by partially bypassing it as well). The well-accepted theory states that prokaryotic bacteria engulfed other prokaryotic bacteria that were better at photosynthesis or the production of ATP. Most of the time, the engulfed prokaryotic cells would have been digested, but in some cases, for unknown reasons, the two cells would have a tense relationship, the smaller energy producing cell existing inside the larger one. In return, the larger cell provided protection. This partnership would have proven to have enough benefits that the cells that had said partnership would have better chances at survival and would have enabled those cells to have greater odds at reproducing: by the process of natural selection, those cells, with that symbiotic relationship with their smaller partner, would have become more and more commonplace. Over time, the smaller, energy-producing prokaryotic cell located in the larger cell would have lost unnecessary functions and have become completely dependent on its host-it would have merged. Likewise, the larger host cell would have become completely dependent on its smaller partner to supply it with energy. This argument answers the argument of irreducible complexity because it shows that evolution of mitochondria and chloroplasts (via regular means) did not necessarily occur: symbiosis could have led to the same thing, and in fact was more likely. Incredibly complex organelles didn't have to evolve-maybe they were imported instead. This argument therefore takes out the irreducible complexity argument, which is based on the premise that it is impossible for very complicated and precise cell parts to have merely evolved "by chance."

Period2marika said...

I wouldn't agree with the long-lost cousin because there is too much extra evidence that helps to show it happened through evolution. The way I see it, intelligent design is only an excuse for something that we don't know exactly how it happened. In other words, when something happens that we can't explain with sufficient evidence, but we still need a reason for it to have happened, people "blame"/ attribute the occurrence of this confusing subject on God.
Something such as the flagella (a concept which doesn't have much evidence to back up its evolution) might be acceptably and understandably thought of as coming from intelligent design. This is only because it is something that doesn't seem to have enough evidence backing up its evolutionary process (or lack of one). I think that part of the reason it is acceptable (to me at least) for someone to think of these things as coming from intelligent design is that there is no other reason to explain a happening like this, but people need something so that they can base other science off of something. Personally, I wouldn't use Intelligent Design to explain anything, but I can see why someone would.
The case of the eukaryotic cells versus prokaryotic cells does not seem to me like a case of Intelligent Design. There is so much evidence and scientific support that shows why and how these types of organisms can be so profoundly different from one another and have basically no middle ground in between. The fact that the SET states that eukaryotic bacteria were formed by one prokaryotic bacteria "eating" another prokaryotic bacteria shows that there is obviously no way there could have been a middle ground because the eukaryotic bacteria came from the prokaryotic bacteria directly. This seems to me like sufficient evidence in favor of natural evolution (and not Intelligent Design).

period3_alice said...

Unlike many of the people who have responded thus far, I actually have cousins in Alabama, and I'm sorry to say that they are not taught Intelligent Design in schools like we steriotypically think here in the Bay Area. But no matter. If this hypothetical situation did arise I would respond that my cousin was correct to think that there are few to no intermidiates between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. However, Lynn Margulis provides us with a theory to bridge the gap that isn't an intelligent designer. She proposes that serial endosymbiotic theory explains the developement of eukaryotic cells. and he has gather a large array of evidence to support her claim. SET, her theory, suggests that eukaryotic cells developed from a beneficial partnership between two prokaryotic cells. This partnership began when one of the cells "ate" the a second cell but the second cells was able to avoid being digusted by the predetor cell. Thus, the two cells began to coexist. Some of the partnerships were beneficial for the two cells involved. An example of this is the when a predetory prokaryote cell ate an anaerobic prokaryote. The anaerobic prokaryote (precursor of the mitochondria) helped the predetory cell survive in an oxygene rich enviroment, and the anaerobic prokaryote was provided fuel and protected from outside attack by its host. As time progressed, the two cells became so interdependent that they lost the ability to survive without each other. The anaerobic prokaryote lost its ability to do the metobolic functions the host cell did and the host cell needed its partner to detoxify the oxygene gas in the air. Thus, the precursor of the eukaryotic cell was born out of these partnerships. There are no intermidiates because none of the prokaryotic cells developed organelles on there own. Instead, these organelles were created by partnerships between two cells. I have one last observation I feel obliged to point out. It is that at most southern family gatherings (although I can only speak for my own family) contraversial topics like this are avoided like the plague.

Period3_Manasi said...

Especially after having read the essay about SET, I would definitely disagree with this long-lost cousin. even before having read the article, I believed simply labeling a complex body part etc. as a result of intelligent design was a "simple way out." Just because at the moment there's no explanation for how an extremely complex structure came to be by evolution doesn't mean that there is no possible scientific explanation.
But now, having read about SET, I think that there is definitely some pretty legitimate proof that it is no Intelligent Design at work with eukaryotic cells. Margulis' work provided a very compelling argument for the evolutionary development of extremely important organelles in the cell, such as the mitochondria and the chloroplasts. The idea "irreducibly complex" eukaryotic cell is completely undermined, because Margulis provides the explanation for the development of such structures. For example, the mitochondria must have been extremely archaic prokaryotic bacteria at some point in time, and became parasitic. When the first photosynthetic cells began to photosynthesize, releasing into the atmosphere oxygen, a highly reactive gas. Prokaryotes tired to adapt, (very few) some hid in the most "unoxygenated" areas they could find, while many others used these parasitic mitochondria that used oxygen to help keep these cells alive. (To explain it extremely simply)
So, with such a clear contradiction of what my cousin claimed, at least for the mitochondria, the chloroplasts, and potentially the flagellum my cousin's assertion that ID is responsible for the eukaryotic cell is completely inaccurate.

Period4_Cole said...

Well George, it is interesting that you feel these eukaryotic cell structures support Intelligent Design because I happen to have just read an article about this very subject quite recently. One part of your argument is quite valid. Thus far there have been no fossils found to prove the existence of intermediary steps from simple prokaryotic cells to the seemingly perfectly adapted structures contained within plant, animal and fungal cells today. However, Lynn Margolis has proposed a theory to the scientific community, which explains how evolution could even still have created these organelles. Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, or SET, is based upon the primary idea that ancient cells could have evolved to include photosynthesizing and metabolizing bodies rather rapidly, due to external pressures in their ecosystems. The SET argues that this evolution could have been the product of a changing environment billions of years ago, as well as the emergence of special symbiotic relationships between larger cells and smaller, more specialized, ones. Margulis explains that early on cells may have consumed or were invaded by smaller bacteria-like cells but not have been able to fully digest them. Instead, these smaller cells would share a mutually-beneficial relationship with the host cell, trading their detoxification for the production of sugar cells and protection offered by larger cells. And George, surely you can see that soon this relationship because not just helpful, but mandatory, as each partner started to rely on the other for survival. Soon, structures like these small bacteria were necessary in larger cells and as such the cells evolved. Just to make sure you believe me, I’ll give you a few pieces of evidence that Margulis uses to back up the SET. First, she examines structures such as chloroplasts and mitochondria, and finds that these complex organelles actually contain pockets of DNA similar to that found in archaic (and also some modern) bacteria. This points to the idea that these structures were once their own separate organisms. As to why this relationship would have developed in the first place, Margulis explains that billions of years ago a certain group of organisms started creating oxygen, a dangerously reactive gas. In order to cope with this harmful substance, cells would have needed to pair up with cells that could turn this gas into something useful. So do you see now George? Even complicated biological structures can be explained logically through studying the history of the organisms. Evolution really isn’t as impossible as you think it is.

period3_abby said...

The idea of Intelligent Design that my long-lost cousin is contradicted by Lynn Margulis's theory, SET. If someone was looking for a way to "prove" Intelligent Design to be correct, pointing out the lack of intermediaries between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells might be a first choice, because the lack of intermediaries might show irriducible complexity. However, SET contradicts this idea. In SET, some prokaryotic bacteria "ate" or engulfed another prokaryotic bacteria. While some of the bacteria was digested, some was not. The undigested bacteria and the bacteria that swallowed it formed a symbiotic relationship. The outer bacteria provided protection, and the inner one helping with the oxygen. Eventually the symbiotic relationships became neccesary for the cells to survive. The inner cells became organelles. Because the cells combined instead of one cell slowly changing, there would not be intermediates between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. So, this idea is not evidence for irriducible complexity or ID.

period1callie said...

To respond to my long lost cousin, I would counter his/her assertions that eukaryotic cells are a good example of ID, meaning that eukaryotic can’t have evolved from previous cells due to their irreducible complexity, with Margulis’ SET. According to Margulis, eukaryotic cells evolved through a series of symbiotic partnerships which involved prokaryotic cells. The process consisted of prokaryotic bacteria engulfing other prokaryotic bacteria that carried out photosynthesis or ATP production better. Normally, the smaller cell would have simply been digested, but some times, it continued to live inside its host. After some time, the small engulfed cell and the larger host cell became mutually dependent on one another. Eventually, their partnerships were so beneficial, that those that had the partnerships survived, and by natural selection, became more popular. Her theory states that smaller cells lived inside the larger host cells and eventually evolved into the energy producing organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts. Thus, Margulis’s theory proves that eukaryotic cells could be broken down into smaller, simpler molecules with the help of time. This disproves the assumption of my cousin that eukaryotic cells are an example of something so complex that it couldn’t have evolved.
-Callie Roberts

period3_Chris said...

I disagree with my cousin that eukaryotic cells are too complicated to have been developed through traditional evolutionary means and are therefore evidence for intelligent design. My cousin believes that the sharp distinction between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells is too great to be explained by gradual changes, however, SET explains this sharp distinction through a series of discrete events. According to Margulis's theory, eukaryotic cells were developed through a number of symbiotic relationships between smaller bacteria and several different types of host prokaryotic cells. The partnership between the host cell and the invading bacteria developed into three different organelles. There are also similarities between the free-living bacteria and the organelles found inside a eukaryotic cell. For example, the eukaryotic flagella have a method of swimming similar to that of spirochetes.

Period7Lisa said...

I understand my cousin's thoughts that there are no intermediates, however I would have to disagree with what he said. In Lynn Margulis' essay on how cells evolved the SET theory is introduced. SET is the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. This theory has many parts that cause eukaryotic cells to not be an example of irreducible complexity. The SET theory states that eukaryotic cells evolved through a series of symbiotic pernerships. These partnerships involved many different kinds of prokaryotic that would eccentially eat smaller prokaryotic cells, evolving eventually into three kinds of organelles. These different organelles are mitochondria, chloroplasts, and flagella. These steps in evolution supposedly were a series of "discrete events". One example of SET is the evolution of mitochondria, which is found in almost all eukaryotic cells. According to Margulis, small respiring bacteria could burrow through cell walls of their prey and go into their cytoplasm. Sometimes this killed either the host or the parasite, but other times the two managed to survive. Each one benefited differently from their coexistence. The paraiste required oxygen, and allowed its host to survive in oxygen rich environments that the host had once not been able to survive in. Sometimes the parasite also gave some of its ATP to the host. The host then provided sugar and other organic molecules to act as fuel for the aerobic respiration. Eventually the two became more and more dependent on each other, and their once "opportunistic parasitism evolved into an obligatory parnership." Eventually the small respiratory bacteria evolved into the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. Other examples she has are of the Choloplast and the flagella.
Because of the research Margulis did and the article I read about her I definatly disagree with my cousin, however I would be willing to hear out his opinions and have a scientific debate with him.

Period3_Lena said...

If my cousin were to look closely at Margulis' studies of prokaryotes versus eukaryotes,I'm sure s/he would come to understand why Margulis established her theory of SET. Prokaryotes are dissimilar to eukaryotes, and a lot less complicated. However, it is evident that the combination of prokaryotes could have resulted in a mutually beneficial relationship, and the reproduction of a complicated eukaryote. Just because for instance, the mitochondria of present eukaryotes, could not exist as separate entities from the rest of the organism, does not mean that a long time ago, those were not merely organelles, but separate organisms that could metabolize very well. And these prokaryotes were swallowed up by others, eventually becoming inseparable/unable to reproduce independently. I would have to disagree with my cousin, and say that eukaryotes are a good example not of ID, but of organisms forming symbiotic relationships over the course of time.

period7 annap said...

Although my "cousin's" arguement is logical in the sense that there are few (or no) visible intermediate steps between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, it does not make much sense to say that this means that eukaryotes are a prime example of ID. According to Lynn Margulis, the SET is clear evidence that eukaryotic bacteria exist due to prokaryotes consecutivley consuming other prokaryotes, thus eventually learning to coexist and developing into complex forms of their pervious selves (aka eukaryotes). This process fits the definition of evolution better than that of intelligent design, and therefore does not favor my cousin's position on the matter, because it is a series of unprovoked events which eventually led to a new species of organisms (eukaryotic bacteria).

period2Nikhil said...

Eukaryotic cells are definitely not an example of irreducible complexity, and cannot be used to defend the claims of Intelligent Design. First of all, there is no strict evidence that points to the fact that there are no intermediates between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It is more likely according to Lynn Margulis and the SET, that prokaryotes and the organelles of eukaryotes, which developed as smaller prokaryotic cells, eventually came together to form the earliest eukaryotic cells. One example is the mitochondrion, which has been shown in earlier forms to contain protein-building ribosomes and DNA similar to that of bacteria. Also, the first prokaryotic cells were anaerobic, so when oxygen began to become abundant, they were almost driven to extinction, but when they engulfed or were invaded by other aerobic bacteria such as the mitochondrion, they realized that instead of ingesting it, they could create a symbiotic relationship in which the mitochondria used the oxygen to provide energy for the cell. This must have kept going until the cell engulfed other prokaryotic bacteria such as chloroplasts and established a symbiotic relationship with them. These small, respiring bacteria began to lose the metabolic functions that were provided by the host cells, explaining how they evolved into the organelles they are now, dependent on the cell as a whole.

period3_corey said...

First off, the fact that it is my cousin would automatically spur an argument about who is right. If he/she (we'll go with she) thinks that irreducible complexity shows strong evidence that ID is correct, then naturally I have to argue that she is completely incorrect. Sure she may be a biology student in college, but I am a biology student at College Prep and I had to read Lynn Margulis' essay so I have much evidence to argue with. If my cousin started off by saying that eukaryotic cells are irreducibly complex because there were no intermediate steps between prokaryotes and eukarytoes, then I would counter by saying "nuh uh". Lynn Margulis' SET states that prokaryotes essentially ate other prokaryotes, and that since there were now two cells living together it was a eukaryote. Of course I would be proud of my answer and ask why she thought eukaryotes were irreducibly complex. Like usual, she should most likely respond with "because I said so". I would then begin to smash her argument explaining why eukaryotes were not irreducible complex: SET argues that prokaryotes came together in and developed a symbiotic relationship (one where both prokaryotes depended on the other to survive). Margulis thought this because she observed prokaryotes that had very similar traits to select parts of eukaryotes. One example of this is a very simple energy producing cell. She thought that this simple cell was engulfed by a different cell and those cells worked together for better living. She thought this type of process eventually evolved into what is now a mitochondria or chloroplast (metabolizer and photosynthesizer). Just like evolution, Margulis concluded that those "irreducibly complex" cells were not so irreducible. Odd and random occurrences once again could be attributed to the evolution of a species, even if they seem unable to work without every single characteristic. As always, my cousin would have nothing left to argue for her statement, and would conclude with a "so?"

period3_Michael said...

Dear Cousin,
The reason that there are no intermediates between the simple prokaryotic cell and the complex Eukaryotic cell is explained by Lynn Margulis’ Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. If you assume that the complexity of a Eukaryotic cell evolved in the fashion dictated by Darwin, then yes, there should be intermediate steps. However, as you stated already dear cousin, there’s a distinct lack of these intermediate phases of development. In Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET), it’s put forth that the organelles within a eukaryotic cell didn’t develop through natural selection, but instead were simpler prokaryotic cells that were enveloped by eukaryotic cell. These photosynthetic parasites were sometimes digested, but sometimes they would develop a mutually beneficial relationship with their host; in some cases, these parasites would even become required for the host’s lifecycle. Eventually, the parasites would lose their metabolic function, and the respiratory bacteria would eventually evolve into the mitochondria of today’s prokaryotic cells. If you take this theory into account, it makes sense that there are no intermediate forms; a mitochondrion, once it has lost metabolic function, can no longer function outside the host cell.

Period4_Avram said...

Although the theory of irreducible complexity would seem to support an argument such as intelligent design, the theory of SET would seem to disprove it. The theory of SET states that complex Eukaryotic cells were formed via evolution, just like everything else. The lacking intermediaary steps my cousin is talking about do exist, she just doesn't understand them. The intermediary steps are that prokaryotic cells engulfed other simple prokaryotic thus creating a more complex cell. Eventually, this process created the complex eukaryotic cell. Some evidence Lynn Margulis gives for this theory is that DNA can be found outside the nucleus in chloroplasts and the mitochondria. This points to the cells once being separate. The theory of SET explains scientifically, what you and other proponents of ID say can not.

Period6_Nairi said...

Although my cousin is correct in saying that eukaryotic cells display a high level of complexity, he is incorrect in assuming that this complexity can only have been created through Intelligent Design. I would explain to my cousin that the reason for this complexity lies in Lynn Margulis's theory of serial endosymbiosis. The basic idea of this theory, also known as SET, is that eukaryotic cells evolved by consuming smaller prokaryotic cells which were indigestible and thus remained within the larger cell. The two cells quickly formed a symbiotic relationship, as one provided food for the other in return for the necessary nutrients for respiration. The smaller cells evolved to be very important parts of their host eukaryotic cells, and they became known as cell organelles. Two key examples of eukaryotic organelles are mitochodria and chloroplasts. Mitochondria provide the cell's ATP, or energy, and chloroplasts photosynthesize, using the sun's light as energy for the larger eukaryotic cell. So, my cousin should understand that a eukaryotic cell is complex because of the organelles that are needed for its survival. They did not just one day appear within the cell but in fact, they were capable of living independantly. Once they became a part ot a larger cell, though, they formed an important relationship which is the basis for Margulis's theory.

period4_sean said...

Things are rarely proven in science, instead most scientific principles are theories, and although they are only theories they are widely accepted and have yet to be proven wrong. Currently, the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, as its name suggests is a theory, whereas Intelligent Design is not. The fact that there are no predecessors to today’s modern eukaryotic cells is not necessarily proof that they must a product of intelligent design either. As cells that had not engulfed other smaller cells would be competing for the same necessities of survival but at a serious disadvantage. These other cells, predecessors lacking the smaller cells (that would later evolve into organelles), would likely be facing a rising population of the evolved cells fighting over the same resources, driving them to extinction and removing evidence of the links between the ancient and modern cells. Furthermore there is also a good deal of evidence supporting that at one point in time many of the organelles in modern cells were once individuals cells themselves and were consumed by the larger cell. For example several organelles in modern eukaryotic cells have a double membrane, which would suggest that at one point in time they were separate cells. Moreover Mitochondria and Chloroplasts have their own sets of DNA and reproduce separately from their host cells. So as you can see, eukaroytic cells are not necessarily and example of irreducible complexity; infact it is likely that they are a result of evolution through consumption as suggested by the SET.

Period2DevSahni said...

While my cousin is entitled to their opinion, he or she has clearly failed to realize that the Serial Endosymbiotic theory proves that there were evolutionary changes through symbiotic relationships including a prokaryotic cell; which disproves using eukaryotic cells as an example of irreducible complexity. According to Margulis, 4 billion years ago the simplest cell was a globule of water that was surrounded by enzymes and enclosed a couple genes. Eventually the prokaryotic cells used their metabolism without needing oxygen. With the photosynthetic fabrication of oxygen gas and following the evolution of respiration we have the basis of evolution of eukaryotic cells. The mitochondria were the initial to experience evolution. It is important to note that only plants and some protists contained chloroplasts which means that chloroplasts must also have evolved. The evolution of eukaryotic cells also involves the flagellum. My cousin does claim that there are no intermediate forms to show the evolution of eukaryotic cells which shows that these eukaryotes are irreducibly complex. However, the intermediate forms vanished, which lead to few eukaryotic cells gaining the ability to swallow food particles. This proves that the cells became predators and they needed to consume organisms. Consequently, this caused different cells to create a new shielding exterior wall that differed from prokaryotic cells. This is why my cousin can not claim that eukaryotic cells are prime examples of irreducible complexity.

period4_melina said...

I think i would have to disagree with you, Mr. long lost cousin. Although you are right in saying that scientists have not found intermediate steps between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, Margulis's Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) shows us that eukaryotes aren't an example of irreducible complexity. Margulis's SET theory proposes that one prokaryotic cell engulfed another, without completely digesting it. This resulted in a beneficial partnership between the two cells, each cell helping the other survive in their environment. Over time, the cells became so dependent on each other, that they were unable to separate, resulting in a eukaryotic cell. The reason there aren't any intermediate steps is that the organelles weren't developed by the prokaryotic cell, but by the combination of the two cells. Have fun with your biology studies cuzz

period2Cameron said...

If my long lost cousin were to tell me that he fells this way about evolution then I would explain to him Lynn Margulis’ SET theory and how it disproves his belief in irreducible complexity among prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Although Lynn Margulis has provided substantial evidence that suggests that prokaryotic cells evolved into eukaryotic cells I can see how someone could be confused by SET. For example, there is no fossil evidence that shows the intermediate steps of the eurkaryotic evolution. However, SET is widely excepted by the science world and there have been no experiments that would suggest that it is not correct. SET says that simple prokaryotic cells formed symbiotic relationships with other prokaryotic cells, thus, over time, creating completely separate cells that were eukaryotic. The mitochondria, the first organelle to be formed was created by parasitic bacteria invading a larger cell and burrowinginto it. Mostly the bacteria or the cell that it invaded were killed when this happened, but sometimes they were able to work together. In time the cell and the parasitic bacteria created a mutually beneficially relationship. During time this relationship grew stronger as the mitochondria relied on the original cell more for metabolic functions and as oxygen increased in the Earth’s atmosphere the cell relied on the respiratory functions of the bacteria more. This is the earliest form of eukaryotic cell. Several more parts of cells developed in a similar way, including flagella and chloroplasts. As I have said some people find it hard to believe this theory on account of the lack of fossil evidence, however accounting ID for the development of eukaryotic cells is, to me, an easy way out of a difficult problem, SET on the other hand provides a scientific explanation that I find far more convincing.

Period6 Andrew said...

If a cousin of mine were to give Eukaryotic cells as an example of irreducible complexity then I would explain how although there is no direct evolutionary link between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells, like there are in most other cases of evolution, Lynn Margulis’ serial endosymbiotic theory (SET), gives us a very good explanation of how a prokaryotic sell could evolve into an eukaryotic cell. It started when one bigger Eukaryotic cell ate a smaller one, however for some reason the smaller cell was not digested. What happened was the cells formed and uneasy relationship. The smaller cell produced excess ATP and the larger cell provided the smaller one with protection. When the cells divided they divided at the same time to that the relationship continued. This was the origin of the mitochondria. Scientist have also found DNA in the mitochondria, which supports the claim that at one point it was its own cell. Another way that one part of Eukaryotic cells developed was when cells started photosynthesizing. Because this added huge amount a oxygen to the environment, many species died of oxygen poisoning. However some cells developed ways to deal with the increasing amount of O2, other cells were eaten by the cells that could survive and just like the ATP producing cells formed an uneasy relationship with the cells that have consumed them. The larger cells then had the ability to do photosynthesis and could survive in oxygen rich environment. Finally the cells became so dependent on each other that they had to have this relationship to survive. Through many random occurrences like these we finally got the eukaryotic cells we have today.

period4_challen said...

My "cousin's" would not be relevant to the evolution of eukaryotic cells, according to Lynn Margulis' theory. If eukaryotic cells were indeed irreducibly complex, than if one were to remove any one part of it, it would not be able to function. But the Serial Endosymbiosis Theory says that at one point, eukaryotic cells did not have some of the organelles, such as the mitochondria. So if eukaryotic cells were indeed irreducibly complex, than these precursors to the modern version would not have been functional, and therefore would not have survived to reproduce and evolve. Back to my "cousin's" argument that there are no intermediate stages between prokaryotic and eurkaryotic cells.
According to SET, there were some intermediate steps, such as those right after one cell engulfed another. So my "cousin's" claim is not true according to SET.

Period3_Helen said...

Well... one reason that there are no existing intermediates between very simple prokaryotic cells and the much more complex eukaryotic cell is that they would have died off because natural selection would have favored the more complex eukaryotic cells. According to Lynn Margulis, eukaryotic formed through symbiotic partnerships involving several different kinds of prokaryotic cells. The smaller cells invaded the larger partner and they evolved into three different kinds of organelles: mitochondria, chloroplasts, and flagella. Each cell using the benefits of the other and creating an efficient complex cell (a prokaryotic cell). Although it may be hard to believe, we know that partnerships exist today. I would tell my cousin that prokaryotic cells are not an example of intelligent design; that they evolved from several kinds of prokaryotic cells "eating" one another to form a symbiotic partnership and forming various organelles.
Helen M

Period4_TylerPeters said...

I would say to my cousin that although there is no direct evidence there are a lot of theories that argue their point very well. Lynn Margulis's theory (SET) about the evolution of eukaryotic cells poses a good argument on how it could have happened. She says that over time cells engulfed other cells and together they formed a symbiotic relationship. Gradually more components were added. Also, when cells combined with other cells those could be argued as being the intermediate steps but as they got new organelles the older cells could have died off due to natural selection, which would leave no intermediate steps for us to find. There is some evidence of intermediary stages still alive today, the Strombidium Purpureum contains a photosynthetic bacteria inside of it. They have a symbiotic relationship. Also, just because their is not as much evidence for the evolution of eukaryotic cells as their is for evolution of other species doesn't mean that some higher being had to have made it. I would disagree strongly with my cousin.

Period 1 Sterling said...

Although my cousin's assertion that eukaryotic cells are a prime example of irreducible complexity may at first seem to be strong evidence for his idea of Intelligent Design, Lynn Margulis' endosymbiotic theory can strongly contradict it. Both Intelligent Design and the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) say that eukaryotic cells were not the result of gradual evolutionary changes, explaining why there are no intermediates between simple prokaryotic cells and complex eukaryotic cells. However, Intelligent Design cannot explain for why the mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own separate DNA, while SET can. According to SET, the DNA, RNA, and ribosomes found in mitochondria and chloroplasts are remnants of the protein-building machinery of the ancient free-living bacteria that had parasitically entered the host cell, established a symbiotic coexistence, and together evolved to become the mitochondria organelles of today's eukaryotic cells.
-Sterling Watson

eva said...

My long lost cousin's beliefs that eukaryotic cells show examples of ID would probably be backed by the fact that there are no proof of any intermediaries. However, Lynn Margolis' theory of endosymbiosis and cell evolution show examples that counteract this idea. The endosymbiotic theory is that eukaryotic cells evolved alongside prokaryotic cells through a system or symbiotic relationships. An example of endosymbiosis is when one prokaryotic cell is enveloped by another cell. The eukaryotic and prokaryiotic cells combined, forming a beneficial partnership. After time, the two cells became highly dependent on one another, and the prokaryote could no longer perform metobolic functions of the host cell, and the host cell was reliant on it's partner to detoxify the oxygene gas in the air. After time and through forms of natural selection, the two became inseparable, forming a more efficient eukariotic bacteria. Due to this scientific evidence, my cousin's original perspective on the evolution of the eukaryotic cell has been disproved.

period1danielle said...

“I’m sorry cuz, but you are totally wrong. Eukaryotic cells most likely evolved from prokaryotic cells, as described by Lynn Margulis, a scientist from the 70’s. In her theory, which is called SET, or Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, she explains that what most likely happened was a big prokaryotic cell devoured a little prokaryotic cell. At this time oxygen was just starting to come into the atmosphere, an only a few cells had developed respiration, which allowed them to move into oxygen-rich places. When the big cell ate the little cell, it became a symbiotic relationship, since the little cell allowed the big cell to move into places full of oxygen and the little one could feed off of what the big one ate. The little cell is today’s mitochondria, which contains its own set of DNA. Scientist’s know today that this “eating” can happen since the Bdelbribrio cell does it today.
Later on, some of these cells containing the mitochrondria…since these cells would survive better there would be a lot of them… ate a photosynthetic cell, which, in the same way, developed into a chloroplast. Chloroplasts also have their own sets of DNA. Scientist’s are also sure that this could happen because the cell Paramecium bursaria is playing host to a green algae cell today. The algae shares the sugar it produces with the Paramecium cell. These two cells can exist independently if we pull them apart. So, cuz, tell me this, if a being invented the eukaryotic cell, why would he/she/it put DNA in multiple places inside the cell???
As for there being no intermediary cells between simple prokaryotic cells and complex eukaryotic cells, it is only more proof for the whole eating thing… if eukaryotic cells had evolved then there would probably be some intermediary cells that are part prokaryotic and part eukaryotic. Cuz, ID just doesn’t hold up to scientific evidence that show how the eukaryotic cell really came into existence.”
-Danielle Glass

Period 1 Chloe P-C said...

After reading the essay on Lynn Margulis and SET, I would have to strongly disagree with my cousin; though prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells do have major differences, even the idea of irreducible complexity cannot prove they were separately created by an intelligent creator. However, SET can prove, through a series of evolutionary developments, how they came to exist the way they do today. The first organisms were very simple prokaryotic cells that lived in water and fed on organic material created by chemical reactions in the Earth. Soon, they evolved to photosynthesize as the organic molecules’ population (their food source) began to decrease. When new oxygen-excreting bacteria evolved, these primitive cells were mostly wiped out, except for the few that changed to detoxify oxygen by changing it into water molecules. This new development, respiration, led to the evolution of eukaryotic cells; mitochondria were the first organelles to evolve. They survived by burrowing their way into prokaryotic cells and establishing a symbiotic relationship, creating the beginnings of a primitive eukaryotic cell. Clearly, SET can prove that there are indeed intermediary steps between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, while intelligent design cannot.

period1carlos said...

The argument that no intermediate steps between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells evolutionarily disproves the theory of evolution ignores the unique way in which eukaryotic cells evolved. Endosymbiotic theory, the belief that eukaryotic cells began as symbiotic relationships amongst several prokaryotic cells, is able to justify the theory of evolution more than satisfactorily. It points to the existence of independent strands of DNA in mitochondria and chloroplasts as evidence that these structures were once independent cells, which were either engulfed by larger cells or burrowed past their cell membranes into the cytoplasm. At that point, if both cells survived the process, they would form a symbiotic relationship, with the inner cell creating energy for both of them and protecting the outer sell from the dangers of oxygen, and the outer cell capturing the molecules both needed for respiration. Eventually, each of these cells would become dependent on the other, needing the other cell’s function to survive, and the first eukaryotic cells were born.

Period6 Winnie said...

If my long lost cousin Billiffany (I can't decide if I want my cousin to be a girl or a boy and as a result she/he is stuck with this name which is a combination of Billy and Tiffany. Poor poor Billifany.) were to read all these comments left by my classmates I'm sure that my cousin would probably think that we were all complete idiots for not believing in the theory of Intelligent Design, or maybe Billifany might even be convinced by our arguments. Nonetheless I can't help but feel frustrated that ID has once again come up in our discussions even though everyone is entitled to their own opinions and deductions. Even so, I still have trouble understanding why people would rather trust some Guy sitting on a cloud up in the sky than in a theory that has a bunch of supporting evidence. However, I suppose that it's a different subject, or maybe it isn't.
Although there are still some “blind spots”, areas that lack enough evidence, in Lynn Margulis's serial endosymbiotic theory (SET) I still believe that SET provides us with an adequate theory that explains the development of eukaryotic cells. SET suggests that eukaryotic cells are the result of a partnership between two prokaryotic cells. Margulis states that it all began when a prokaryotic cell “ate” another prokaryotic cell; and for some reason the second cell avoided being digested by the host cell, so the two began to coexist, one inside the other. This coexistence, though probably very difficult at first, proved to be very beneficial to both cells and in the end; they became too dependent on one another and relied heavily on each other to survive. As a result, Margulis argues, the two prokaryotic cells evolved so that they were permanently together. This makes logical sense right Billifany? And because the two cells combined with one another instead of one cell shifting and changing, thus it’s reasonable that no one has found any intermediates of this process. Eukaryotic cells exist not because some high and mighty power decided one day that they should exist but through a wonderfully complicated but logically satisfying process called SET. Ponder that cuzo Billifany.

Period 7 Henry said...

This cousin of mine clearly needs to learn more about SET. The Serial Endosymbiotic Theory contradicts his or her arguments concerning eukaryiotic cells. Though the link between prokaryotes and and eukaryotes isn't evident in the same way as it is in other organisms, it is still present. This is because the evolution was largely based upon the formation symbiotic relationships with other species, rather than simply mutations of a single species. Many Eukaryotic bacteria arose from certain prokaryotes ingesting others. The symbiosis between the two prokaryotes gave them useful abilites such as photosynthesis, or improved metabolism, and over time, the sybiotic relationship evolved from two prokaryotes working together, into a single functioning eukaryote, as the two components became increasingly dependent upon eachother.

Period1_Micaela said...

Both SET and ID is based on the idea that there are no intermediate steps between very simple prokaryotic cells and much more complex eukaryotic cells. However, ID does not have any evidence to back up the idea that eukaryotic cells are too complex to have evolved from simpler organisms. In contrast, Lynn Margulis and SET provide lots of evidence proving that eukaryotic cells can be broken down into simpler molecules. SET argues that eukaryotic cells evolved through series of symbiotic partnerships between two different kinds of prokaryotic cells. For example, smaller respiring cell invaded a larger cell that gave the larger cell protection against oxygen and in return, the host cell provided fuel for aerobic respiration. Over time both cells became dependent on each other and a mandatory partnership became key. Eventually the invading respiratory bacteria evolved into the mitochondria of today’s eukaryotic cells. The cells that now had mitochondria had higher metabolic rates than prokaryotic cells and as a result were able to grow and ‘eat’ smaller cells. These smaller cells inside the big cell then became semi-independent and evolved into chloroplasts. This is why today we see similarities between living bacteria and eukaryotic organelles. Thus, according to these similarities that back up SET eukaryotic cells can essentially be traced to simpler organisms. Due to all this evidence that supports SET I would have to disagree with my cousin.

Period2Brandon said...

I would only agree with my long lost cousin on the matter that there are no intermediate steps between the simply prokaryotic cell and the complex eukaryotic cell. As far as this being an example of irreducible complexity, I would have to disagree.
Lynn Margulis's theory "SET" provides a very good explanation to why there are not any intermediate steps and why the eukaryotic cell is not an example of irreducible complexity. SET states that eukaryotic cells evolved from symbiotic partnerships between prokaryotic cells. Early prokaryotic cells that fermented and photosynthesized were happy that there was barely any oxygen because an abundace would have put an end to them. However, when the amount of oxygen started to grow, most of these anaerobic cells died, some retreated to places with almost no oxygen, but most importantly some evolved to be able to detoxify oxygen. This is what enabled the evolution of eukaryotic cells. Margulis's SET states that a respiring parasite, would invade an anaerobic prokaryotic cell. Most of the time, one of the partners would die, but some of the time they would both find a way to coexist. Once they learned to live together, they could benefit from each other: the respiring parasite would take care of the oxygen allowing them to live where-ever they wanted, and the anaerobic cell would provide the parasite with the fuel it needed to respire. And eventually, the two partners became extremely dependent on each other and the parasite evolved into the mitochondria that eukaryotic cells have today. This shows that there should not be any intermediate steps between a porkaryotic cell and eukaryotic cell because it was not ONE cell that evolved over time, it was a partnership.
This explanation of the creation of organelles disproves the idea of irreducible complexity, and sorry long lost cousin.

Period 7 Valentina said...

If eukaryotic cells had just shown up, they would have shown irreducible complexity. However, something such as bactiria is not irreducible complex, and that is what started the prosses of evotution of eukaryotic cells. They started out of two diffrect kinds of bactiria that were very compatable. The host bactiria instead of killing or being killed by the invasive bactiria would have lived with it, and would have been able to live in situation it normally couldn't have, such as in an enviornment with oxegen. Or the invasive bactiria would keep the bactiria alive because it would recive sugers or organic subsances. Eventually, over hundreds of years, the invasive bactiria would lose certain qualities, becoming something very similer to microcondria or other organnels. If enough bactiria over time had invaded other bactirias and then lost some of their original qualities, we could get a eukaryotic cell as it is today.

Period 7 Justin said...

My dear cousin from Alabama makes a valid point when he argues that there is no evidence that illustrates the evolution of prokaryotic bacteria to eukaryotic bacteria. However, when he claims that the organelles of eukaryotic bacteria are irreducibly complex, he fails to understand that they need not have evolved into their current state, but could have existed as independent bacteria prior to being consumed by a fellow prokaryote. Said Alabamian cousin is correct in saying that if the prokaryotic bacteria had evolved according to the sequence laid out by Darwin, we should be able to find the intermediary steps easily. However, instead of the more ‘normal’ process of random mutation, eukaryotic bacteria evolved by consuming ENTIRE prokaryotes. Over time, the swallowed prokaryotes’ special capabilities would have integrated completely with those of the host bacteria.

Lynn Margulis’ Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) states that eukaryotic bacteria evolved by swallowing prokaryotic bacteria with highly specialized skills, such as generating ATP. Instead of digesting the bacteria for food, as they normally would, the ‘swallower’ prokaryote and the ‘swallowed’ prokaryote developed a symbiotic relationship in which the larger bacteria provided shelter while the smaller one focused on its skill, such as producing energy. Over time, the two bacteria’s systems become so closely integrated that they can no longer survive without each other. Natural selection would have favored these eukaryotic bacteria that were more efficient than their eukaryotic counterparts, which is why today’s prokaryotic bacteria contain the result of those symbiotic relationships.

period4_nathan said...

I would have to say that my cousin is only making this claim that eukaryotic cells are an example of irreducible complexity because he (his name is Charles) has not read Lynn Margulis's essay on the evolution of cells, unlike all of us, which is why have an edge and can say that his claim is a false one.
Lynn Margulis's main argument in her essay, the serial endosymbiotic theory (SET), argues that eukaryotic cells are the result of endosymbiosis, which is where in this case one prokaryotic cell would get engulfed by another prokaryotic cell, and they would symbiotically live together. But although this theory does have some holes in it, it still provides a good explanation for the development of eukaryotic cells. After the one cell engulfed the other, the smaller one would avoid being digested, and they would live together. This relationship proved to be beneficial to both cells and they basically relied on one another to carry on. Margulis argues that these two prokaryotic cells evolved in this way so that these two cells were permanently bonded, to form a eukaryotic cell.
But in terms of there being no intermediate steps, one might argue that cells' combining could be the intermediate steps. But as these cells that ate other cells obtain new organelles and resources, the older ones would probably have died off because of natural selection, as these new megasupercells were better suited to survive now, which would get rid of all the intermediate steps we could have found.
In conclusion, Charles is a bit silly in saying that eukaryotic cells are examples or irreducible complexity. And also, even though their evolving is not quite like normal evolution (where organisms evolve very slowly, generation after generation), it is a different process where the evolutionary steps occurred as a series of discrete events, thus we have the named this theory the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. So ha, Charles.

period2Oona said...

Although I can sort of see where they are coming from, I disagree with my cousins. I think if you are too lazy to really think about it and try to understand things like the Eukaryotic cells having Intelligent Design as an options is helpful. However if you read carefully Lynn Margulis' essay chapter thing she actually seems to give sufficient evidence proving the evolution of Eukaryotic cells by natural selection. SET or Serial Endosymbiotic Theory says that Eukaryotic cells came from Prokaryotic bacteria "eating" or sort of surrounding other Prokaryotic bacteria, this means that Eukaryotic cells didn't just pop in to existence, there had to be some kind of middle area where the Prokaryotic bacteria slowly transformed into the Eukaryotic cells. So even if this theory is not completely true or a few small details change it still proves that there was in intermediate step and that there is no irriducible complexity to the cell and that it wasn't Intelligent Design.

period7chloe said...

SET presents a clearly supported explanation for the development of the much more complex, compartmentalized Eukaryotic cells-my cousin’s explanation of this development using ID pales in comparison to the well warranted argument of SET. The first step in the development of much more complex eukaryotic cells was the existence of the simple prokaryotic cells-those that used fermentation to gather the ATP they needed. Later new bacteria developed that used solar power to gather their energy, but they still did not need oxygen. However, The next type of organism to develop used photosynthesis, and split water molecules in the processes, releasing lots of oxygen into the environment. While many of the prokaryotic cells died because the oxygen created too toxic an environment for them to survive in, some developed respiration technology, thus enabling them to continue existing. Following this, some of the respiring organisms invaded the non-respiring ones, and became attached inside the cytoplasm. In some cases, the parasite was destroyed by the host organism, but in others, they developed a coexistence with benefits to each. The organism that respired made it possible for the host to live in environments that had a lot of oxygen, and donated its ATP to the host cell. In exchange, the host cell donated a variety of organic molecules for the parasite to use for its photosynthesis process. As time progressed, the partnership between the host and the parasite developed into a dependence on one another. Additionally, the development of chloroplasts can be explained in a similar fashion. After the relationship between the host cell and what evolved to be the mitochondria developed, the carnivorous cells ate a smaller photosynthetic cell. Instead of fully digesting it though, the host cell and the smaller cell established a partnership and eventually evolved into chloroplasts. Clear examples of this phenomenon exist in other places throughout nature-indication that it is not simply ID at work. An example of this is the host cell Paramecium Busaria and the parasitic cell Chlorella. The two can exist independently, but if the host cell has the chance, it will eat but not fully process the Chlorella, thus establishing a partnership of endosymbiosys.

Period3_DougLopez said...

Dear Cousin,

I will have to disagree with your ideas about eukaryotic cells being irreducibly complex. While you say that there are no intermediary steps between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes, I would have to disagree. Even though we have not found a perfect match in the lineage of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, I am confident to say that Lynn Margulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory is a very solid idea. Looking back at Darwin's Theory of Evolution makes SET look very promising. SET is the idea that early on in Earth's history, bacteria evolved into different forms of bacteria and later into certain prokaryotic cells with certain abilities. Certain bacteria, such as respiring parasites, dug themselves into other prokaryotes. This action combined the two cells creating a prokaryote carrying the abilities of both the parasite and original cell. With this combination, Margulis argues that the cell would be better fit to survive in its habitat and possibly evolve into a predator. This would later help it absorb other cells and evolve even further. SET's argument for Prokaryotic evolution explains the idea of intermediary steps between Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes. These steps show us how cells the Prokaryotic cells could have adapted to their environments and evolved to later become the complex functioning parts of the Eukaryotic cell. Different cells could have evolved with traits to respire, photosynthesize, etc. and would later specify themselves in other cells and become organelles.

period1ColeG said...

6
My stubborn cousin has no idea what he/she is talking about. Obviously he/she has not heard of Lynn Margulis and her theory of SET. While my cousin claims that a lack of intermediate steps between simple prokaryotic cells and complex eukaryotic cells proves ID, Lynn Margulis has found abundant information stating otherwise. Her theory became SET, or Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. It states that Eukaryotic cells were able to evolve through endosymbiosis, the burrowing of a bacterial parasite into the cytoplasm of another bigger host cell. The bacterial parasite is capable of respiration, a function that had evolved due to the photosynthetic production of oxygen gas. These aerobic parasites would find larger anaerobic host cells to infiltrate and protect them from oxygen gas in return for fuel. This new endosymbiotic cell later evolved into the mitochondria, chloroplast and the flagellum. All of which are organelles present in eukaryotic cells. Basically, photosynthesis and respiration allowed the evolution of all eukaryotic cells. So, the energy producing mitochondria organelle evolved from small, respiring, free-living bacteria which was then engulfed by a larger predator cell which continued the process of evolution. The photo-synthesizing Chloroplast organelle evolved in the same way but can only can be found in plant cells. The process of endosymbiosis can easily account for the intermediate steps that proponents of ID claim don't exist. Unlike the mitochondria and the chloroplast, Margulis fails to provide any concrete evidence towards her theory of the flagellum's evolution. Supporters of ID claim that the eukaryotic flagellum is a perfect example of an irreducibly complex organelle. Margulis claims that the eukaryotic flagellum differs so tremendously from the prokaryotic flagellum that it should be renamed "undulipodium". She believes that the eukaryotic flagellum evolved from spirochetes. An example she uses to illustrate undulipodium's similarity to the spirochete is the spirochete's presense in cockroaches and how similar they are to eukaryotic flagellum. Although this isn't significant proof, ID's beliefs fail to offer any proof. All of this shows that there was in fact an intermediate step of evolution between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. ID fails because of its frail support and Margulis' well substantiated theory.

santarita558 said...

Sorry this is Lydia period 6. I really can't get my school account to work.

Although it is true that complex eukaryotic cells probably could not evolve on their own to create organelles like mitochondria from useless blobs, Lynn Margulis' SET theory shows that those organelles could evolve outside of the cells from early prokaryotes and then form a symbiotic relationship with simple eukaryotes, eventually leading to the cells in each of our bodies today. Although this theory was originally rejected by the scientific community, it is now widely accepted. There is a lot of evidence for SET, such as the fact that mitochondria and chloroplasts reproduce differently from the cells they are a part of, or the similarity between their structures and those of early prokaryotic cells. The fact that these organelles cannot survive outside of the cells they are a part of does not mean anything. Lichens are another example of two different living things cooperating to form one structure which would not function without the other component.

Period6Tim said...

Be that as it may, my dear cousin, your argument for the irreducible complexity of eukaryotic cells has a bit of a void. You argue that since there is no intermediary organism in existence between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells cannot have evolved from their prokaryotic counterparts. Here, cousin, is where you are mistaken. There was no series of small changes leading up to, say, mitochondria, which are unique to eukaryotic cells. According to SET, or Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, which was laid out by biologist Lynn Margulis in the late 1960's and early 1970's, a prokaryotic cell consumed another smaller prokaryotic cell, but for some reason did not digest it. The ingested cell most likely was good at producing ATP, which is the main energy source for cells. The larger cell offered the smaller protection and did not digest it, and the smaller cell produced ATP for the larger. Thus, a symbiotic relationship was formed. When the larger cell underwent mitosis, so did the smaller, and two "double cells" were created. It is because of this process that there are no intermediate steps between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, because it is impossible for a cell to be partly consumed by another. I appreciate all your contributions to the family, cousin, but in this area I believe I have you beat.

Period4_Carol said...

Though I respect my Alabaman cousin's beliefs, I do not believe that eukaryotic cells are irreducibly complex and would happily show him my copy of the essay on Lynn Margulis’s theory. According to the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, various types of prokaryotic cells underwent evolutionary changes over a period of a couple billions years by means of symbiotic alliance amongst each other. The process involved the smaller party attacking the larger party and together evolving into three critical organelle species including mitochondria, chloroplasts, and flagella. SET argues that this started happening approximately 2.5 billion years ago when the sudden abundance of oxygen produced by photosynthetic bacteria provoked surviving prokaryotes to develop respiration systems. This lead to the onset of eukaryotic organelle development, starting with mitochondria. Little bacteria with respiration abilities became parasites to bigger anaerobic prokaryotes, and their interaction eventually caused the small bacteria to morph into mitochondria, which is found in almost all eukaryotic cells today. The overwhelming, though at times admittedly controversial, body of evidence that includes the example I discussed vigorously support the theory that eukaryotic cells are not irreducibly complex, but were involved in an extensive evolutionary process.

Period6Emily said...

I would tell my cousin that there actually is a plausible evolutionary connection between the prokaryotes and the eukaryotes. The SET theory explains that the parasitic bacteria of the prokaryotes found their way into the prokaryote. She believes that the main cause of this occurance was the evolution of cyanobacteria, which created oxygen. Margulis claims that the bacteria that were unable to function with oxygen (anarobic bacteria) were forced to seek refuge within the prokaryotic cells. Over time, the bacteria lost many of it's once necessary traits that were made unecessary by it's new location, such as "metabolisin functions". The prokryote also began to rely on the bacteria for it's survival. Hence, the bacteria evolved into some of the important organelles of a Eukaryote. Therefore, the concept of "irreducable complexity" of a eukaryote is not entirely true. Thanks to Margulis, there is reason to believe that with the help of some bacteria, the some prokaryotes evolved into more complex cells.

Period6 Huntly said...

After learning about endosymbiosis, everything my cousin says becomes rubbish to me. There is no irreducible complexity, the only thing is that now, with a eukaryotic cell, we simply have two bodies instead of one. According to Lynn Margulis' theory of SET, the evolution of the eukaryotic cell took place when one cell engulfed another, offering the smaller one protection from other cells, and in return receiving another source of energy. Margulis' statement is quite solid with the exception of one gap: why didn't the cell just digest the other?
Next, by following with this theory of SET, an intermediate step could not have been possible. When the other cell engulfed the other, it just happened. Boom. And we now that each body came from different origins because the appearance of DNA in the mitochondria, or chloroplast. Next, the intermediate steps can be seen in the similarities between the two different kinds of cells. When the eukaryotic cell developed DNA, ribosomes, cytoplasm, and a membrane, all those can be seen as the intermediate steps in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. BYAH cousin - you wrong

period4_annie said...

After reading the essay on Lynn Margulis and SET, I would strongly disagree with my cousin. Although it may seem at first that a eukaryotic cell is irreducibly complex, there is much evidence found in SET to show that these cells indeed did evolve to become how they are today. First of all, SET is described as a "series of discrete events" that led to the formation of the eukaryotic cell, showing that it evolved to become as complex as it is now. There is evidence that the eukaryotic cell did evolve from basic prokaryotic cells, where one prokaryote parasite burrowed into another cell through the cell wall. Although the host or the parasite was killed most of the time, sometimes they would coexist. Mutual benefits stemmed from this partnership, and eventually, the cells became so dependent on each other that they could no longer survive on their own, creating a complex eukaryotic cell. The bacteria that had invaded eventually evolved into the mitochondria. This explains why mitochondria have their own DNA, and SET also provides a logical explanation of the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. Eukaryotic cells can indeed be broken down into smaller parts, disproving my cousin's idea that eukaryotic cells are irreducibly complex.

Period2Fred said...

If my cousin from alabama said that to me i would first wonder why he was talking to me about biology, then i would point out the SET. i would say to my cousin that the reason why eukaryotic cells have no intermediates with prokaryotic cells is b/c some prokaryotic cells may have engulfed one another,developed a symbiotic relationship, and evolved to depend on each other so much that they became one. This idea that symbiotic prokaryotic cells evolved into eukaryotic cells contradicts his statement. If SET is right, there would be no place for intermediates between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

period1marina said...

I don't agree with my cousin. Eukaryotic cells aren't a good example of irreducible complexity. Although my cousin argues that a cell as complicated as the eukaryotic cell could not have evolved from some other cell, like the prokaryotes, SET doesn't argue that it does. Lynn Margulis does point out that eukaryotic and prokaryotes are too dissimilar to have been "related". What she does say is that different prokaryotes "swallowed" each other. Somtimes, the prokaryote host would not survive this living situation, but at others they would form symbiotic relationships where they use eachother's strengths to work together. Over time, these prokaryotes that combined sucessfully made different, more complex cells. So, although it is true that there is a "gap" in the evolutionary process, it's because it wasn't really one species evolving, but instead simply simpler cells forming symbiotic relationships and changing/strengthening/complexifying over time.

gwen said...

period 7, Gwen:

Unfortunately for my cousin, evidence of steps between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells exists. However, the intermediates challenge our basic, incremental-change understanding of evolution. Instead, the changes were sudden but successful.

In the 1970s, Lynn Margulis revolutionized both evolutionary and cellular biology, which had little in common, by claiming that mitochondria had evolved from a once-separate prokaryote. Serial endosymbiotic theory (SET) describes the co-evolution of two organisms--beginning when one burrowed into (or was engulfed by) another, leading the first to become parasitic. The new life form had an advantage over its simpler peers, as the ancestral mitochondria could respirate--create ATP (energy for cells) by taking in oxygen--a nifty trick in an environment increasingly filled with oxygen gas. (This was due to the evolution of photosynthetic bacteria, which released the gas as a byproduct.)

Evidence for SET includes the structural similarities between mitochondria and prokaryotes, and a genome separate from the cell's nucleus.

Margulis's theory gave biology more than one intermediate--she pointed to chlorophasts, found only in plants, as another organelle created from endosymbiosis.

...

I could mention flagellum, but due to the controversy over its evolution, I think I won't give my cousin space to contradict me.

Period6 Alex said...

My dear cousin from Alabama (I wonder if Alabama has a booming Filipino population?). It is true that there are no proven intermediates between the simple prokaryotic cells and the much more complicated eukaryotic cells. But there is in fact evidence to support claims of the evolution of the eukaryotic cells. Margulis’ theory, SET, is based on the idea that older cells could have developed photosynthetic and metabolic bodies. She states that larger cells may have either consumed or been invaded by smaller cells similar to bacteria. This would often kill either the smaller or larger cell, but sometimes they would both survive. Instead of the larger cell digesting the parasite, they would develop a mutually beneficial relationship. The larger cell would protect the smaller cell and provide it with sugar cells in exchange for ATP. Eventually the process that came from this relationship became necessary to the survival of the larger cells and the parasites. While some prokaryotes attempted to adapt or hide themselves in unoxygenated areas, the cells would eventually begin to evolve into one cell and make the relationship permanent.
Margulis backs her theory up by examining organelles such as mitochondria or Flagella. These organelles have concentrated areas of DNA similar to DNA found in archaic bacteria, demonstrating that these pockets were once their own cells. With all of this evidence, my cuz from the south, I respectfully disagree with your statement that eukaryotic cells are an example of irreducible complexity. Their evolution can be explained with scientific evidence and logic. Tell aunt joe that I hope her cold gets better.

Period1Gelsey said...

I would respond to my cousin’s belief that eukaryotic cells are an example of ID by explaining the endosymbiotic theory. Lynn Margulis’ theory provides a link between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. According to Margulis, the first bacteria were anaerobic photosynthetic bacteria and fermenting bacteria. However, eventually aerobic photosynthetic bacteria evolved, and their production of oxygen, which was toxic to the other bacteria, forced the anaerobic varieties either to hide out in oxygen-poor regions (and become today’s archaebacteria) or to become aerobic. The anaerobic-turned-aerobic bacteria managed to do this by turning oxygen back into water and energy, developing a system of respiration. These bacteria then became parasites and forced their way inside the larger, anaerobic bacteria. However, this turned out to be a mutualistic relationship; the parasite shared the energy it produced, and the host provided the sugars and other molecules that the parasite needed. Additionally, the formerly anaerobic host could now survive in an oxygen-rich environment. Eventually, the photosynthetic parasites evolved into mitochondria. Some of these eukaryotic cells grew large enough to become predatory. Part of their diet would have consisted of cyanobacteria, which could have evolved into the chloroplasts in plants.

SET would then refute my cousin’s thinking that eukaryotic cells are irreducibly complex. The theory shows that there is a way for these complex cells to have evolved naturally without the aid of an intelligent designer.

Period 2 Kenji said...

I completely disagree with my cousin's statement. The statement that eukaryotic cells are irreducibly complex is false. Eukaryotic cells did in fact come from prkaryotic cells. This can be explained by Lynn Margulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory, or SET. Set states that Eukaryotic cells through a series of symbiotic relationships between prokaryotic cells. The series can be intermediate steps. Later on these symbiotic relationships will add three organelles to the prokaryotic cells, which will make them become eukaryotic cells. Proving that eukaryotic cells are not irreducibly complex There are many examples in nature supporting Lynn Margulis' theory. Long ago when there were only prokaryotic cells. There was little oxygen in the world, and it was toxic to most living organism. Then when oxygen became more and more abundant, Organisms that used oxygen to survive started to form. The organisms that used oxygen would engulf the other and the other way around. Now the organisms that once thought of oxygen as poison, can now live in an environment with it around. These two cells formed what is called a Endosymbiotic relationship. And through a discrete series of this, eukaryotic cells were formed. SET also challenges another example supporting ID, flagellum. ID theorists claim that the flagellum has no other simpler versions, so it is irreducibly complex. But SET argues that the eukaryotic flagellum was made up of spirotches to create a new organelle. Since Margulis believed that the prokaryotic and eukaryotic flagellum have different structures, the eukaryotic flagellum was called undulipodium. These are examples that prove Eukaryotic cells are not irreducibly complex, and were created through a series of symbiotic relationships.

period2hannah said...

I would argue with my long lost cousin that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory and if he or she wants to believe in God, he or she can practice that belief outside the scientific world. If he/she is a Biology student, he/she should understand that Intelligent Design cannot be proven and evolution can, also, I would hope that he/she has read Lynn Margulis' writings. If my cousin wants a career in Biology, he/she should not have such a biased view. Intelligent Design may be regarded as a scientific theory by some but it is not believed by the greater scientific world.

I would explain to my cousin about the essay on the SET theory. Lynn Margulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory theory states that prokaryotic cells engulfed other prokaryotic cells which turned into eukaryotic. This was the intermediate step; they didn't just appear. I think that is definitely enough proof for me and should be for my cousin.

Period3_Elijah said...

After learning about Margulis's Serial Endosymbiotic theory, I would disagree with my cousin's assertion based on the theory of endosymbiosis, a better theory than intelligent design for the explanation of the evolution of eukaryotes from prokaryotes. Though slightly bizzare (it almost says that some organisms swallowed other organisms which in turn became organelles), the evidence is overwhelming, and the theory is logical. The endosymbiotic relationship is one that benefits both parties involved, creating an unique evolutionary occurence - that of a rapid change, as opposed to the theory of autogeny, the slow gradual evolution of an organism. The main piece of evidence for endosymbiosis is that the DNA of the various elements of the cytoplasm vary from the DNA of the nucleus and the cell itself. However, they co-evolved in a mutually beneficiary relationship, and they are slowly becoming the same organism. Another argument for intelligent design is the flagella, which Margulis explains in her works. The flagella was thought of as a prime example of irreducible complexity, being so built on its various interdependent features that the absence of any one of them would cause a lack of functioning. However, Margulis links it to a spirocheaete, a type of bacteria that causes diseases but evolved to help a cell move. Finally, I would tell my cousin that Intelligent design is fighting a loosing battle because it keeps having to alter its theories to pave way for new discoveries in science.

Period4_Ethan said...

While there is no direct evolutionary chain between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, there is evidence that organelles within eukaryotes could have evolved from a prokaryotic cell with a similar function. At some point in their evolution these prokaryotes were consumed by a larger prokaryotic cells, but instead of being broken down by the larger cells, they formed a symbiotic relationship with the larger cells. An example of this is the chloroplast, which probably originated as a photosynthesizing cell, but when consumed, the larger cell used the photosynthesizing property of the smaller cell. Eukaryotes are not an example of irreducible complexity because there were intermediate steps, but they were between prokaryotes and organelles and not between prokaryotes and complete eukaryotic cells.

period 7 Rachel said...

I would tell my cousin that eukaryotic cells are not an example of irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity is an argument used as proof of existence of an Intelligent creator. However, science does have a theory for the evolution of eukaryotic cells. While there aren't intermediates between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, there are very clear links between these cells that explain the evolution of Eukaryotes in Serial Endosybiotic Theory (SET). At one point life was made of prokaryotic cells, but through evolution some of these prokaryotes developed the ability to photosynthesize, produce ATP etc. When engulfed by other prokaryotes, they formed a symbiotic relationship where the engulfed bacteria performs its special function for the predator while the predator protects the engulfed cell. Through evolution, because these cells survived better with the symbiotic relationship, these engulfed bacteria became organelles in the prokaryotes giving way to eukaryotic, complex cells. This is supported with scientific evidence that found traces of DNA in organelles like mitochondria that prove they could have once stood on their own as prokaryotes prior to joining with the cell. There is also fossil evidence where biologists found eukaryotic cells without mitochondria and endoplasmic reticula. This proves that the evolution of eukaryotic cells is not an example of irreducable complexity because their origin can be explained with substantial, scientific evidence.

Gabe R. said...

After reading the article on Lynn Margulis, I would have to strongly disagree with my so-called cousin. My cousin may not see Margulis' theories as I do, but to argue his point of Intelligent design he would have to bypass all the research that has been done about Serial Endosybiotic Theory (SET). Although the Eukarotes are incredibly complex, they can not be a "prime" example of ireducible complexity because they did not evolve from nothing to what they are today overnight. They took many stages to being the cells they are today. Margulis' research and theory show that Eukaryotes as well as Prokaryotes once used photosynthesis, and stages later evolved to respirating. Again, this didn't just occur overnight, steps works taken for the cells to evolve in the ways they did. So my cousin could only argue against Serial Endosybiotic Theory (SET) and in favor of Intelligent Design if he completely ignored Margulis' research. Margulis' theory correctly showed that Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes evolved over millions of years and that there is always a possibility of something smaller.

Period 2 Jenn said...

This cousin is clearly incorrect, as Margulis states that eukaryotic cells evolved using several types of prokaryotic cells in a symbiotic evolution. While they may not be directly related, her SET theory shows that they do have some relation. The only part that gets a bit iffy is when she discusses the spirochetes, where there is no evidence to how they could have possibly been evolving the same.

Period3_Talon said...

I, for one, am an individual who is able to accept and aknowledge both the Intelligent Design theory and the theory of evolution. I believe that life was divinely inspired and was set into motion with the ability to adapt and evolve with its surroundings. Disreguarding personal beliefs, I, from a scientific standpoint believe that "my cousin" is wrong. Intelligent Design, scientifically speaking, is not responsible for every known organism. It seems as proponents of scientific theory only implement it when there is something that they cannot readily explain scientifically. That being said, after reading Margulis's essay, the evidence supporting eukaryote's evolving from prokaryotes are overwhelming. Eukaryotes are NOT of irreducible complexity. We can see how evolution has caused simple prokaryotes to engulf other prokaryotes with different abilities (such as better metabolisms and the ability to photosythesize) which have formed organelles like mitochondria and chloroplasts. This is Margulis's theory called Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET). My cousin is wrong for stating that there are no intermediates between Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes. Marulis's SET theory proves it.

Zoe Oliver-Grey said...

I would have to agree with Manasi. I feel that the irreducible complexity argument, when used in reference to prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is a really easy way to explain the transformation without looking at the actual chain of events which enabled the change. If you break down the whole process, and look at Margulis' SET theory, there arises a completely logical and scientific explanation for the advancements of the prokaryotic cell.
The SET theory that Margulis explains shows that after surrounding a smaller prokaryote, the larger prokaryote benefits from the engulfed cell's advantages while the smaller too does from the host's return. With the new advancements the cell is more functional. So through not one, but many of these joint partnerships the prokaryotic call is able to become eukaryotic.
So with this in mind I would respond to my cousin's comment by stating that if they were to look harder there are steps between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. And that these steps are the continual entrance of prokaryotic cells into another, creating a new third call, then repeating later in the third type of cell evidently continuing the evolution process. So ID is not the only explanation.

Period4_Christopher said...

Nonsense, my dear cousin. Science has indeed found intermediates to link prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The predominant theory, generally accepted, is that organelles like chloroplasts and mitochondria were cells in their own right, absorbed by the ancestors of today's eukaryoric cells. They existed in a symbiotic relationship, and over time the host and the symbiont became one. The process is referred to as endosymbiosis. I am afraid, my dear cousin, that your arguments are as bunk as the one I sleep in (actually, though, I sleep in a bed). And so is Intelligent Design.

Period3Felipe said...

If one of my many cousins from Alabama was smart enough to be a college biology student and was arguing that eukaryotes can't have evolved from the more simple prokaryote merely because there is no evidence thus far that proves the existence of imtermediary steps between the two, then I would laugh and explain how the Lynn Margulis essay might prove him wrong. If he/she was arguing that the eukaryote is a prime example of irreducible complexity and there is no way a prokaryote could have evolved to become a eukaryote, then in a way I could agree because it didn't exactly require evolution. According to Murgulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET), eukaryotes are the result of an ancient prokaryote eating, or engulfing, another prokaryote and, for some reason, it did not digest it. The second, engulfed prokaryote existed inside of the other and a symbiotic relationship emerged in which the inner bacteria provided protein etc. while the engulfing cell provided protection etc. Eventually the two cells became dependant on each other to survive and reproduce (which they could only do as one cell, not seperate).
From this came the eukaryote, and so although my cousin was partially right in saying that eukaryotes did not directly evolve from another cell in the most common form of evolution, he/she should not have ruled evolution out completely.

Period6 Erica said...

I would kindly respond as so:
Long lost cousin, whose name I cannot recall, you are terribly mistaken to believe that eukaryotic cells are a good example of Intelligent Design for there is a theory that does explain the appearance of this complex organism through evolution. This theory is Lynn Margulis’s serial endosymbiotic theory. It is hard to believe that eukaryotic cells just suddenly burst into existence; therefore, Margulis explained that the cells were composed of two prokaryotic cells: one inside the other, coexisting. For example, as the air continued to contain increasing amounts of oxygen, bacteria that could easily take in the oxygen and produce ATP nestled into another bacteria. In some cases, the two formed a symbiotic relationship and eventually depended so much on each other that without their partner, they could not function and died. This parasite bacteria evolved into the mitochondria. The same goes for chloroplasts although these bacteria only appeared in plant and protist cells. Scientific evidence supports the SET, showing that the DNA of mitochondria and chloroplasts is similar to bacterial sequences instead of other eukaryotic ones. Also, we cannot dismiss the fact that they reproduce by dividing like bacteria. Therefore, my cousin, you must understand that eukaryotic cells are not an example of irreducible complexity. I won’t hold your obviously wrong beliefs against you so why don’t we go get something to eat; I’m starving. (Yes! Midnight snack!!)

Period3_Nelson said...

According to my cousin, there are no intermediates between very simple prokaryotic cells and the much more complex eukaryotic cells. As a result, eukaryotic cells are an example of irreducible complexity. However, based on the SET, eukaryotic cells are the result of prokaryotic cells absorbing each other. This is a better example of evolution than intelligent design because the prokaryotic cells become more and more dependent on each other. They "evolve" from two prokaryotes into one eukaryote as opposed to prokaryotes and eukaryotes already existing without any relation because of intelligent design. The SET gives the explanation to how eukaryotes came to be with evidence. For example with the mitochondria, there are no intermediates because the prokaryotes have already evolved into one and have been reproduced as one.

period6brandon said...

After reading the essay about Lynn Margulis, I would have to dis agree with my cousin. Lynn came up with the idea that prokaryotic cells developed into Eukaryotic cells.There are many difference between the cells and I can understand my cousins point of view. In the essay Lynn shows that there are intermediate steps to go from Prokaryotic to Eukaryotic. To prove this she talked about the development of the mitochondria and the chloroplast. The chloroplast was a product of the rare cases where the bigger cell didn't digest the Chloroplast but rather engulfed it, and used it to made a super cell. This is true for the mitochondria as well. The prokaryotic cells that were very simple but specialized in something like creating energy, they were engulfed instead of digested. Prokaryotic cells also changed in ways that allowed them to function in oxygenated areas. Bacteria used a host cell, and share its ATP that creates oxygen, in return the Host cell would provide sugar to allow it to continue to make oxygen which would help areobic respiration. The evidence in the essay would lead me to believe that there was a development from prokaryotic to Eukaryotic. Unfortunately i have to disagree with my cousin but i can't disagree with the facts

Period1Issiah said...

Well cousin, I must say that I would have to disagree with your argument of eukaryotes being of irreducible complexity. According to the serial endosymbiotic theory the development of eukaryotes occurred through a series of discrete events. A prokaryote parasite would burrow into another cell and invade its cytoplasm, often times killing either parasite or its host but in some cases a coexistence was formed. This partnership between the two would have mutual benefits. The parasite’s respiration would allow the cell to survive in areas that it would have previously been unable to and cell would provide fuel for the parasite’s aerobic respiration. Eventually through the process of natural selection the parasites would evolve into mitochondria. It is speculated that some of these new cells grew larger and became capable of eating smaller cells like cyanobacteria. In some cases the cyanobacteria may have resisted digestion and evolved into chloroplast. According to the SET theory there would have been no intermediates, so this would not be a very good example of ID.

Period6Shantal said...

Well, i agree with my cousin there are no intermediates between very simple prokaryotic cells and the much more complex eukaryotic cells but this does not mean that eukaryotic cells are proof of irreducible complexity. It can always be difficult to try to convince a believer of intelligent design that there is proof that something else caused evolution and not a higher intelligence. I think that if my cousin read Lynn Margulis' article then she might change her mind about her belief that eukaryotic cells are a prime example of irreducible complexity. If my cousin read this article then she would learn about the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. This theory states that eukaryotic cells were created when some prokaryotic bacteria "ate" other prokaryotic bacteria that was able to metabolize or photosynthesize. And so this realtionship caused the simple prokaryotic bacteria to eventually become eukaryotic organelles. This theory would explain to my cousin that in fact eukaryotic cells are examples of irreducible complexity....

Period 1 Virginia said...

To logically prove to my cousin that he or she was wrong, I would explain the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) to him/her as proof of how prokaryotes and eukaryotes were connected. The first step of this process was the evolution of prokaryotic cells to be able to photosynthesize and produce oxygen, a development which led to the ability to respirate and produce ATP. Next, small, respirating bacteria began to invade larger prokaryotic cells. The bacteria would grant oxygen and ATP to the cell in exchange for sugar to use as energy. As the oxygen in the air increased and the cells depended more on the bacteria for survival, the bacteria developed into mitochondria. I would here remind my cousin that that cases similar to that of the bacteria and the cells occur nowadays. Sometimes these mitochodria-filled cells absorbed other, smaller cells with the ability to photosynthesize. The small cells probably evolved into chloroplasts. Finally, the eukaryotic flagella (or as Margulis calls them, undulipodium) may have evolved from the bacteria called spirochetes. The undulipodium's axial filaments are quite similar to the spirochetes' microtubules. Scientists have also discovered several cases of motility symbiosis including the Mixotricha whose spirochetes were thought to be flagella for a long time. I would hope that my cousin, when faced with such scientifically-supported theories, might reconsider his/her opinion on the validity of "Intelligent" Design.

Period4_Lara said...

I'd like to start by responding to Alice's note of her cousins in Alabama. I too have cousins in Alabama, though they are more like these fictional long lost cousins - I have never met them. They are both highly educated (many have PhD's and MD's) but are proponents of ideas such as intelligent design. One PhD cousin is trying to prove that parts of the bible were written by Adam and Eve... These stereotypes are less distant than one might think.
Now, if this long lost cousin from Alabama were to cite the development of eukaryotes from prokaryotes as an example of irreducible complexity I would point her towards Lynn Margulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET). I would call her attention to certain organelles inside of prokaryotic cells - the mitochondria for example - that have their own separate DNA. The distinction between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is the presence of organelles with specific tasks enclosed in their own membranes. This DNA found in some organelles is evidence of these intermediaries that she was denying the existence of. If these organelles have their own DNA, then at some point they were probably separate cells. If one prokaryotic cell engulfs another, I would explain to her, then the two may be able to work in symbiosis until the the interior cell evolves to the point of complete dependency on the outer cell. Cells that engulfed other cells with useful properties such as metabolisms or the ability to photosynthesize would survive to reproduce.

Period4_Lara said...

I'd like to start by responding to Alice's note of her cousins in Alabama. I too have cousins in Alabama, though they are more like these fictional long lost cousins - I have never met them. They are both highly educated (many have PhD's and MD's) but are proponents of ideas such as intelligent design. One PhD cousin is trying to prove that parts of the bible were written by Adam and Eve... These stereotypes are less distant than one might think.
Now, if this long lost cousin from Alabama were to cite the development of eukaryotes from prokaryotes as an example of irreducible complexity I would point her towards Lynn Margulis' Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET). I would call her attention to certain organelles inside of prokaryotic cells - the mitochondria for example - that have their own separate DNA. The distinction between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is the presence of organelles with specific tasks enclosed in their own membranes. This DNA found in some organelles is evidence of these intermediaries that she was denying the existence of. If these organelles have their own DNA, then at some point they were probably separate cells. If one prokaryotic cell engulfs another, I would explain to her, then the two may be able to work in symbiosis until the the interior cell evolves to the point of complete dependency on the outer cell. Cells that engulfed other cells with useful properties such as metabolisms or the ability to photosynthesize would survive to reproduce.

Period4_Robbie said...

I would have to correct my cousin because although there are no intermidiates that we can see between prokayotic and eukaryotic cells, there is a way to explain their evolution.

In SET, the idea is that prokaryotic cells engulfed other prokaryotic cells. Instead of consuming them, the bigger cell would allow the inner cell to operate in a symbiotic relationship. Over time and generations, they would lose together and their cells would form together to form certain organelles within the over-arching membrane. This might be the hardest issue that I'd have to press with my cousin because they would most likely wonder at why the prokaryotic cell did not simply comsume the other cell for energy.

This directly clashes with the idea of irreducable complexity because it can be traced back at how these organisms first evolved because if it is a process of evolution, then it would not be irreducibly complex.

Period4_Gregory said...

How about a brief response after that three page one from last time?

To quote a well-known and well-respected fellow evolutionary biologist, “Eukaryotic cells are definitely not an example of irreducible complexity, and cannot be used to defend the claims of Intelligent Design.” (Dr. Nikhil Rajapuram, author of Why My Cousin’s Theory of ID is Wrong) As Dr Rajapuram states in his book, the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) proposed by American microbiologist Lynn Margulis says that mitochondria and chloroplasts arose from certain prokaryotes, which established mutually beneficial (aka symbiotic) relationships with the earliest eukaryotes. In the distant past, these free-living prokaryotes were consumed by those hungry eukaryotes, but managed to survive somehow within the larger cells. The autotrophic prokaryotes proved useful to their hosts because they produced glucose through photosynthesis. The heterotrophic prokaryotes also were useful because they could generate the energy (ATP) for the host. The host in turn provided protection for the engulfed prokaryotes. Over time, the autotrophic prokaryotes developed into chloroplasts and the heterotrophic prokaryotes developed into mitochondria. These organelles still contain their own DNA, and their own ribosomes, which contribute to this theory.

However, my cousin’s refusal to believe me is not without reason (litotes). Besides mitochondria and chloroplasts, there’s no other clear evidence of other major traits or transitions that can be attributed to symbiogenesis. Thus, SET can’t contradict my cousin’s belief in ID by too much.

(Sorry, Robbie, I decided not to be pro-ID; it would have taken too much time)

Period4_Sonamtso said...

I would not agree with my “cousin”, and say that eukaryotic cells are a good example of intelligent design. Intelligent design states that things become what they because of a higher being, like God. However, it seems highly unlikely to me that “God” could have created anything, especially something this complex. Instead, I would be more likely to agree with Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The theory that the eukaryotic cell was created slowly by cells coming together and the unneeded being “thrown away” is a much more logical approach (in my opinion) to this subject. To further emphasize my opinion, the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory also states that eukaryotic cells evolved from a series of symbiotic partnerships involving many different kinds of prokaryotic that would consume smaller prokaryotic cells. This eventually involved into three kinds of organelles which are mitochondria, chloroplasts, and flagella. Supposedly, these steps in evolution were a series of "discrete events". Mitochondria (found in most eukaryotic cells) are an example of Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. This goes to show that the small bacteria found in cells evolve to become more fit the need of the cell.

Period4_Sonamtso said...

I would not agree with my “cousin”, and say that eukaryotic cells are a good example of intelligent design. Intelligent design states that things become what they because of a higher being, like God. However, it seems highly unlikely to me that “God” could have created anything, especially something this complex. Instead, I would be more likely to agree with Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The theory that the eukaryotic cell was created slowly by cells coming together and the unneeded being “thrown away” is a much more logical approach (in my opinion) to this subject. To further emphasize my opinion, the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory also states that eukaryotic cells evolved from a series of symbiotic partnerships involving many different kinds of prokaryotic that would consume smaller prokaryotic cells. This eventually involved into three kinds of organelles which are mitochondria, chloroplasts, and flagella. Supposedly, these steps in evolution were a series of "discrete events". Mitochondria (found in most eukaryotic cells) are an example of Serial Endosymbiotic Theory. This goes to show that the small bacteria found in cells evolve to become more fit the need of the cell.

priscysmarts_13 said...

I would respect my cousin point of view but i would present him with Lynn Margulis paper of "The Evolution of Eukaryotics Cells". I think this would help him make a more balanced decision, he would be more informed about alternative theories. Some of the arguments of the Serial Endosybiotic Theory challenge the ideas of Intelligent design in a very straight forward way. For example the ID theory claims that the flagellum is so complex that there were no simple versions of this organelle; but SET reveals that there are some underdeveloped flagella on other ancient bacteria. I would invite my cousin to take a look at the article because it exposes the weaknesses of the ID theory with logical series of modifications in the different cells.

Period6 Alex B said...

The cousin arguing that because there is no evidence of slow intermediate evolution from simple prokaryotic cells to complex eukaryotic cells with mitochondria and other organelles. One widely accepted theory says that instead of a slow evolution of different organelles (which has no fossil evidence to back it up) isn't the only way in which the organelles came to serve important functions in a cell. Instead, the organelles, like the mitochondria, were present, freely, outside of the cell. Then, through endocytosis, a larger cell would "eat" the smaller cell (mitochondria). It just happened that having a mitochondria inside of a cell proved beneficial to the reproductive success of the cell and from then on, the new cells would have mitochondria.

Because the mitochondria had evolved separately from the cell, there would be no fossil evidence of an evolving mitochondria inside of the cell. This explains the seeming suddenness of the appearance of larger, more complicated cells.

per2wumi said...

Well…my cousin’s theory isn’t completely wrong. However, Margulis’s theory of SET makes more sense because it has more physical evidence. For instance, Marqulis says that eukaryotic cells have evolved from a series of symbiotic partnerships involving different kinds of prokaryotic cells. Meaning that these multi-celled organisms must have evolved from something less complicated (i.e. prokaryotic bacteria). Because she has proved that there is some type of intermediate stage that eukaryotic cells have evolved from, there is no way to show that these cells have just popped out of nowhere or from a higher being. This being said, the theory of SET shows that these cells are not a product of irreducible complexity or of ID. In the SET theory, a prokaryotic bacteria “eats” or engulfs another prokaryotic bacteria. The “undigested” bacteria creates a symbiotic relationship. The outer bacteria provides protection, while the inner bacteria bring oxygen to the cell. This relationship becomes essential to the cell’s survival.

period3Reed said...

my cousin, while a biology student, may need to do some continued reading before earnign their degree, I think. As vast as the gulf between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells is, it is not at all insurmountable for the powers of natural selection. Lynn Margulis' work expanding the Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (SET) goes a long way towards showing that. The gradual, symbiotic relatioship that the theory states may have developed between some prokaryotic cells could easily, with time and circumstances, have produced the kind of cells that would become full eukaryotic cells, and continue evolving form there into the massive diversity of eukaryote life we see today. The many organelles of eukaryotes can often be explained with the aid of prokaryote symbiants, with such illustriously "irreducible" examples as the mitocondria and flagellum. So, no, whilwhuvqse the verison of SET put worth in the Margulis article may not be entirely complete, it does seem sufficient to disavow any notions of an irreducibly complex gap between the two.

Period3_danielokelly said...

After having understood the basis for endosymbiosis and "the evolution of eukaryotic cells," I would have to agree with my cousin's assertion. He is correct in his argument that eukaryotic cells display a high level of complexity. However, he is incorrect in his assumption that intelligent design is the basis for this complexity. The explanation of this complexity can be found in Lynn Margulis's theory of endosymbiosis, SET. The idea of this theory is as follows. Eukaryotic cells evolved by consuming small, digestible, prokaryotic cells that remained in the cell. The two cells learned to grow symbiotically, one provided energy while the other provided protection. The smaller of the two cells, mitochondria, provides the cell's main source of ATP energy. Over time, the host cell engulfs a chlorplast which performs photosynthesis to provide the eukaryotic cell with another form of energy. In conclusion, this cousin needs to understand that in no way was the evolution of eukaryotic cells spontaneous. Organelles are the primary reasons for a eukaryoitc cell's existence, which is the basis for Lynn Margulis's theory of endosymbiosis.

James "Danger" M._Per 7 said...

Upon finishing that unnecessarily large article, i would have to go ahead and disagree with my Alabama grown cousin...hehe, Alabama...
simply because a part of the body is very complicated does not mean it should be labeled as an irreducibly complex result of the "theory" of intelligent design. If everybody took this "simple way out" than no scientist would ever get anything done, but instead whenever they hit a wall they would label it a result of intelligent design and move on.
The reason that there are seemingly no intermediate steps between the simple prokaryotic cells and the multi fascited eukaryotic cells is that symbiotic relationships would occur much more rapidly than most evolutionary processes. After mitochondrea and the first anearobic bacteria formed their symbiotic relationship the mitochondrea lost its metabolic functions as they would be provided by the cell and as such was no longer able to survive by itself. what had started as a case of opportunistic parasitism evolved into an obligatory partnership. Some evidence that supports this claim is that a cell that had its mitochondrea experimentally taken out cannot reproduce them on its own. Margulis SET theory also challenges the the theory that the flagellum is also a product of intelligent design. Margulis argues that the flagellum had actually evolved from a prokaryotic symbiote and differs from the flagellum of prokaryotes to such a degree that it should be called an undulipdium.
With many smaller experiments pointing towards Marguli's SET, the previously separate studies of cellular biology and evolution theory have been linked together in a way that should dissuade anybody from buying into the notion that anything, including eukaryotic cells, is a product of intelligent design.